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MoTales stories of Mopar / Chrysler cars and trucks

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Current and future

Ram ProMaster Commercial Van
Following the only large front-drive commercial van from 2014 to the present

Chrysler rumor wrap / upcoming cars and trucks
Sept. 6, 2023 update

Renegade: Fiat-based Jeeps
Oddly capable little crossovers

Meridian: Lux Compass with Three Rows
Sorry, it’s only in India so far

Dodge Charger, 2006-2024
The return of rear wheel drive

Modern Dodge Challengers
Retro muscle cars breaking 800 horsepower, 2008-2023

Behind the Fratzog
Memorable 1960s-70s Icon Returning for 2022

Dodge Hornet: hot compact crossovers
Quick AWD turbo cars, with and without electric motors

Dodge Charger Daytona BEV (concept)
The first Charger to need a charger: “Better than Hellcat” performance

Changes in the 2023 Mopars
Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and Chrysler’s 2023 news

Dodge Durango, 2011-2023: the Unibody Muscle SUV versions
Not quite a clone of the Grand Cherokee, the WD Durango was a three-row SUV that could run 0-60 in 3.5 seconds...

2023 Dodge Challenger Demon 170: a 1,025 horsepower “last call” muscle car
A deep dive into the impossibly powerful E85-drinking modern muscle car


How Ram was born of Avard Fairbanks and Dodge
One of the very few marques to be named after its own ornaments, and how that came to pass

Dodge Brothers Truck for Kids: Car Spotter #27
Building a Dodge Brothers truck out of spare parts, to get kids interested in The Hobby

2025 Ram 1500 REV: Ram’s First Electric Pickup Truck
All the info, all the pics of the first electric pickup to tow 14,000 pounds

Chrysler: making Grant, Lee, and Sherman Tanks
(and the big Multibank engines)

Original Dodge Durango, 1998-2003
Successful heavy-hauler three-row SUV

Making Mopar Vans in Windsor
Dodge B-van factory photos

1971 Dodge trucks and vans
A surprisingly full range

Dodge Nitro
the ill-fated Liberty-based SUV

The often-confusing Dodge truck body codes
With select Jeeps and Rams

Graham Brothers: the original “Dodge trucks” (and some very, very nice supercharged cars!)
A story of two sets of brothers


Chrysler 1925: The first (or second or 31st) year
Possibly the most advanced car of its day

Washer bags: before bottles
How things were and why they changed

Unibody: Behind the Sudden 1960 Move
A stunning, massive shift—the surprising reason they did it

Chrysler-Owned English Luxury: Humber
“The Rolls-Royce of compact cars,” 1899 to 1976

Car Spotter: Imperial Crown and Valiant
A classy 1965 Imperial Crown and a neglected 1960 Valiant

Car Spotter: 1950 Plymouth
Well-preserved 1950 Plymouth Special DeLuxe being sold in 2017

Plymouth cars: Chrysler’s value brand
From 1928 to 2001, boom and bust

Dodge cars: brothers no more, 1928 to now
A short history with all of our Dodge car stories

Chrysler cars, 1924 to today
From the revolutionary B70 to the 300 and Pacifica

Tuning carburetors on vintage cars
A real beginner’s guide

Chrysler 1929-30 vs General Motors
Snapshots of Chrysler, DeSoto, Plymouth, and Dodge, and technology comparisons to GM

Birth of the Chrysler Newport: 1960-62
How the Chrysler Newport was born; the first generation of the Chrysler-styled DeSoto

1955 DeSoto Fireflite Sportsman
Diving into one of the most attractive Forward Look cars (Car Spotter #23)

That huge Chrysler: Everything We Make ad
Taking you anywhere you want to go - including 238,000 miles straight up

Plymouth Barracuda and Belvedere: Car Spotter #24
Spotting two vintage Plymouths - a flop that’s now valuable, and a hit that isn’t quite so popular today

The Fabulous Hudson Hornet: “Twin-H Power” and step-down unibody
The short but exciting life of the most unlikely NASCAR championship cars

Columbia Electric: Forgotten part of what became Chrysler Corporation
Deep in the roots of Chrysler lurked battery-powered electric cars

Mopar car names: Star Trek, royalty, and crazy long
Cars named from Star Trek, hotels, and royalty; and the absurdly long Dodge and Plymouth car names

Jack Benny’s Maxwell (Chrysler Connections)
How Jack Benny ended up driving (on radio, TV, and the big screen) the predecessor of Plymouth and the Chrysler Four

Maxwell, US Motor, Standard: pre-Chrysler, 1904 to 1925
How Maxwell Motors morphed into U.S. Motor Company and Standard Motor, then finally became Chrysler Corporation in 1925 after making Chryslers for a year

1970s (roughly!)

The Dodge, yes, Dodge GTX
South American Valiants

Charger Daytona: the Cordoba version of a 200-mph legend
Not quite a racing car

Chrysler Sunbeam: winner of the rallying championship
An Avenger variant

1970 Chrysler 300-H
(300 Hurst)

What did buyers think of the 1971-73 Mopar cars?
Market research revealed

Plymouth Cricket/Hillman Avenger (and the Dodge Polara, 1500, and 1800 and VW 1500) around the world
Global cars long before the Escort and Omni

1971 Dodge, Plymouth, and Chrysler cars
All the ’71s

What’s under the hood?
When and why it all changed

Birth and life of the Road Runner
Jack Smith creates a muscle legend

Charger Daytona: 200 mph supercar
Who made it (and why they did)

Birth of the 1966 and 1968 Dodge Charger
A legend is born

1975 Dodge Charger SE: Comfy but slow cruiser
Driving a 1975 Dodge Charger SE with a 318 V8: sluggish rolling sofa? (Car Spotter #21)

1973 Dodge Taxi brochure (and Mopar cabs)
The brochure and the full story: Dodge’s 1973 taxi lineup and the company’s history with cabs

1974 Dodge Dart-and-Challenger Foldout
Dodge’s seemingly odd 1974 Challenger and Dart brochure

Not Absolutely Fabulous: The AMC Hornet
AMC’s ‘rich’ compact economy car, 1970-1977, and the SC/360

Classic rear wheel drive Mopar car groups, by platform code
Diving into the A, B, C, D, F/J/M, E, and R bodies (and why they had letters)

Inside the Monroney: 1970 Plymouth Suburban
Explaining every aspect of the 1970 Plymouth car price sticker

How much did it weigh? 1974 Valiant/Dart, 1972 Imperial, and their options
Diving into weight figures for cars at opposite ends of Chrysler’s spectrum—the Plymouth Valiant/Dodge Dart and Imperial LeBaron

1973 Dart Swinger and 1974 Dart Sport: Inside the Monroney
Diving into classic Dodge price stickers - what it all meant, what it all cost in today's dollars

Chrysler Cordoba: “Personal Luxury”
Two generations of Cordobas - one based on the Charger, another based on the New Yorker

1980s and Final K-Based Cars

Insane: 1991-92 Dodge Spirit R/T
Fastest sedan of its time

Plymouth TC3/Dodge O24: Lee’s “second Mustang”
Quick little coupes

It almost happened: the Eagle minivan and the new Chrysler LeBaron
Rejected ideas

Dodge ZD: the Jeep-Based SUV That Never Was
Could the Grand Cherokee survive a twin?

Jeep J90 and JJ
Compact third-world-targeted Jeeps

Making Minivans in Windsor
Chrysler factory photos

1983 Chrysler New Yorker Fifth Avenue (brochure and info)
Advertising the Chrysler M-bodies

1983 Dodge Diplomat in Canada
Digging into the brochure and the car

Modern Cars

Dodge Caliber, 2007-12
The much-maligned chunky-look Neon replacement

New Dodge Dart (2013-16)
Bugs and oversharing killed a contender

The “bloated” Dodge Durango: 2004 to 2009
The SUV that nearly destroyed the Durango franchise, though it was definitely a contender at first...

Electric minivans (the originals): TEVan and EPIC
Chrysler invented the electric minivan - three generations of them

Stellantis and FCA platforms of the present and future
STLA Frame, Small, Medium, and Large; CUSW, SUSW, and such

Neon 2.0: the final all-Chrysler four-cylinder engines
How the Neon ended up with a class-leading four-cylinder

1999 Chrysler Citadel concept: LH hybrid wagon
The hybrid concept that sort of became a minivan-based crossover

Sticker and receipt: 1993 Plymouth Sundance
Diving into the Monroney price sticker and bill of sale for a 1993 Plymouth Sundance

Mopar body codes, 1978-2024
Letter codes for Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, Jeep, and Plymouth cars, minivans, and trucks

Repairs / Fixes

Where to get parts for your Mopar
Real info&mbdash;not ads

2.4 VVT actuator swap
Rescue that old car

Tracking down electric leaks / battery draw
One of the toughest things to find

1968-1980 Mopar VIN Decoder for Cars
Find out what your Dodge, Plymouth, or Chrysler vehicle ID number means (or decode cars at shows)


When AMC won in Trans Am
(and the Javelin)

1965 Plymouth Daytona?
It might have happened!

Police and pursuit cars

Dodge Intrepid: the police car
Agile, surprisingly quick front while drive pursuit vehicles

Plymouth police cars of 1976
Downsized but strong

Car Spotter: 1971 Plymouth Fury Pursuit Car
Big and classy police car

Making police cars: who and what was involved?
Diving into the changes that make an ordinary car into a pursuit vehicle (or just an ordinary police car)

Prototypical police cars: Dodge Diplomat and Plymouth Gran Fury
Inside the M-body Dodge Diplomat and Plymouth Gran Fury that defined how police cars should look for at least a decade

Mopar police cars of 1980: St. Regis/Gran Fury, Aspen/Volare, B-Van
The last of the big Plymouth and Dodge police cars, in their penultimate year, with the final F-body squads

Mopar police cars of 1983: Diplomat/Gran Fury and Reliant/Aries
Two quite different approaches to police cars, with front and rear wheel drive, powered by V8 and four-cylinder engines

Car Spotter and Engines

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Copyright © 2021-2023 Zatz LLC • Chrysler / Mopar car stories and history.